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Catarina A. Colón

Catarina A. Colón

Associate
Overview

With a background in labor and employment litigation, Catarina helps clients stay in line with employment law, especially in the midst of corporate transactions.

Catarina collaborates with clients in the healthcare, financial and manufacturing industries to help them avoid costly labor and employment litigation and personnel issues. She concentrates much of her practice on the mergers and acquisitions of companies, including asset and stock purchases, with an eye to the myriad of employment issues inherent in corporate transactions. Catarina also assists in transitioning employees as organizations change or merge, as well as in planning and implementing workforce reductions.

In addition to her guidance during mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, Catarina counsels clients on day-to-day employment matters, including standard policies and employee handbooks, employment agreements, severance agreements, terminations, retention and recruiting practices, disciplinary procedures, and requests for accommodation.

Catarina initially began her legal career as a litigator, defending clients against allegations of discrimination, retaliation, harassment, and wage and hour violations, as well as assisting with internal investigations and representing clients before state and federal agencies. The experience gave her an up-close view of the multitude of ways employment situations can go wrong, impressing on her the necessity of sound policies and solid proactive legal counsel. Catarina’s professional background makes her current work all the more fulfilling: she finds great satisfaction in setting clients up for success.

Alongside of her traditional labor and employment work, Catarina is the cofounder of the firm’s Workplace Diversity, Equity & Inclusion practice group. A diverse professional herself, Catarina understands the immense value of employer commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. Catarina and her team look at the intersection of DEIA best practices and civil rights law, providing clients with risk assessments, performing pay equity analyses, offering trainings and drafting strategic, forward-looking plans. Catarina works with clients in all stages of DEIA planning, from those who need a program built from scratch to organizations with advanced initiatives looking for fine-tuning. Her goal is always to meet clients where they are, helping them move forward to where they want to be.

Industries

Services

Recognition

  • BizTimes Milwaukee, Rising Stars in Law, 2022
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, G. Lane Ware Leadership Academy, 2019-2020 Class
  • Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission, Wisconsin Pro Bono Honor Society, 2020

Education

  • J.D., University of Wisconsin Law School
    • Diversity in the Law, Founder/Organizer
    • Moot Court Board
    • Latinx Law Student Association, Vice President of Academic Affairs
  • B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison
    • Legal Studies, Criminal Justice

Admissions

  • Wisconsin

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association, Board Member
  • National Association of Latino Healthcare Executives, Wisconsin Chapter, Secretary and Co-Founder
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Board of Governors, Diversity and Inclusion Oversight Committee Liaison, 2021-present; Strategic Planning Committee, 2019-present; Governor, 2021-present; Bridge Liaison to Wisconsin Labor & Employment Section, 2021-present; Diversity and Inclusion Implementation Team, 2020
  • HB Unidos, Co-Chair
  • Certificate in Diversity & Inclusion, Cornell University - School of Industrial and Labor Relations
Experience
  • Convinced opposing counsel to dismiss wage claim filed before the Wisconsin Equal Rights Division shortly after charge was filed.
  • Revised and updated full-scope employment handbooks for clients.
  • Counseled numerous clients on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including reductions in force, unemployment insurance and compliance with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
  • Obtained favorable decision from the Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC) regarding unemployment insurance matter.
  • Secured preliminary injunction on behalf of client in Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law case.
  • Counseled clients on issues related to employee use of social media, including best practices for handling inflammatory, derogatory and offensive content.
  • Following Supreme Court Bostock decision, assisted retailer when former employee filed claim with Wisconsin Equal Rights Division, alleging religious discrimination and sexual harassment because transgender individuals were allowed to use restrooms aligned to their gender identity. The Equal Rights Division decided in our client's favor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) adopted the findings. The decision was not appealed.
Outside the Office

Lifting Voices.

Catarina is a competitive powerlifter and spends much of her time in the gym. She’s also an accomplished vocalist. Traveling with the University of Wisconsin Concert Choir for seven years, she performed in venues as far-reaching as Notre-Dame de Paris.

Community Leadership
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Diversity and Inclusion Implementation Committee, Committee Member
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Lawyers Assistance Program, Committee Member
  • Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Board of Directors, 2023-present
  • Run for Justice Committee, 2020